12 tags of 2014 – june…

DSC00308 3.37.51 PM
if you love the look of blended watercolor and looking for a different way to create colorful backgrounds, this month’s tag is just the thing.  like many crafters, i have a new love and appreciation for using stencils on my cards and projects.  their unique and often bold shapes allow me to incorporate them by layering with other imagery.  layering with stencils is key in my opinion.  of course there are so many different ways to use layering stencils, but today i wanted to show one of my favorites that is also in my book “a compendium of curiosities vol.III”.  this technique also incorporates the new mini distress inks, but you could use your regular size distress pads too.  i just prefer the convenience of being able to add color to smaller areas with these little guys.  so before we start i want to remind you not to judge the success of this technique until you dry it.  the look and effect of this watercolor monoprint using a stencil often changes when it’s completely dry.  the definition and detail really come to life so hang in there and have fun playing with both color and design – here we go…t!m


  • surfaces: distress watercolor cardstock, #8 manila tag
  • layering stencils: star
  • stamps: cms182
  • dies: stamp & framelits- french flight
  • embellishments: mini gears, game spinners, mini fasteners,
  • trimmings: crinkle ribbon
  • distress ink: mini distress ink pads- assorted
  • archival ink: jet black
  • adheisves: foam tape
  • tools: mini ink blending tool, detailer waterbrush, heat tool, craft sheet, mister, vagabond, magnetic cutting pad

DSC00268step 1: gather various colors of mini distress inks and a layering stencil.

DSC00269step 2: begin tapping or lightly rubbing the distress ink on the back of the layering stencil (since we will be “printing” the design i always get in the habit of inking the back of the stencil – this is really important when working with things that have letters or numbers so they don’t print backwards)

DSC00270step 3: continue inking the stencil until you have color in most areas.

DSC00271step 4: generously mist the inked stencil with water from a mister to react the distress inks.  remember, distress reacts with water so the color will actually become more intense now and blend beautifully.  *note: this is the one step what you will need to play with to find the right amount of water that works for the look you want to achieve.

DSC00272step 5: lift the stencil from the craft sheet and place it on to the smooth side of distress watercolor cardstock.  *note: i found this technique worked on many surfaces including directly on to the tag, but the watercolor cardstock provides more “play” with the colors and water which i prefer.

DSC00273step 6: place the inked layering stencil directly on to the cardstock.

DSC00274step 7: while the stencil is on the cardstock, press down over the entire design using a paper towel to print the color as well as immediately absorb any ink that might seep out inside the stencil openings.

DSC00278step 8: lift the stencil off, set it aside, and immediately dry your print with a heat tool.  *note: as i mentioned in the opening, this step is very important since initially the image appears blurry and washed out at times.  heating the image defines the color and design much more than what you see while it’s wet.

DSC00279check this out…colorful and cool don’t you think?

DSC00280step 9: cut the cardstock to fit the tag, tear the bottom edge if you wish, and adhere to the tag.

DSC00282step 10: ink the edges with distress ink using an ink blending tool.

DSC00283step 11: stamp the butterflies image from the “french flight” framelit set using black archival ink.

DSC00284step 12: stamp the butterflies a second time on the smooth side of a piece of distress watercolor cardstock using archival ink.

DSC00286step 13: stamp the creativity verse on the tag along side of the butterflies using archival ink.

DSC00285step 14: watercolor the butterflies using your mini distress inks by swiping the waterbrush directly across the pad.

DSC00287step 15: continue coloring until desired look is achieved (make sure to color outside the lines for this one), and dry with heat tool.

DSC00288step 16: place stamped images on magnetic platform over a clear cutting pad.  place framelits around the image and die cut.  *note: you can use any stamped image and hand-cut around them if you don’t have this stamp/die set.

DSC00289step 17: die cut all butterflies (see why it’s good to color outside the lines?).

DSC00290step 18: ink the edges of butterflies with distress ink using ink blending tool.

DSC00291step 19: apply a small piece of foam tape on the back of each butterfly behind the body area only.

DSC00292step 20: secure each butterfly to the tag slightly bending the wings to create dimension.

DSC00293step 21: embellish the tag using mini gears, game spinner, and mini fasteners.

DSC00295step 22: apply various colors of mini distress inks to craft sheet.

DSC00296step 23: mist the inks with water from a mister to react the inks.

DSC00297step 24: press 2 cut pieces of crinkle ribbon into the inks until covered. (i cut the ribbons at 8″ and 24″ for my tag)

DSC00298step 25: crinkle the ribbons into a ball and dry with a heat tool.

DSC00299i love how the custom ribbon matches the tag background perfectly…

DSC00301step 26: next we’re going to make what i refer to this as the “paula bow” – start by inserting the short ribbon through the hole in the tag as shown.

DSC00302step 27: take the longer ribbon and secure one end under your thumb as shown.

DSC00303step 28: wrap the remaining ribbon around your fingers until you run out.

DSC00304step 29: slide the loop of ribbon from your fingers and pinch in the center to hold as shown.

DSC00305step 30:place the loop on to the top of the tag and tie the short ribbon around the loops to hold.

DSC00306step 31: tie again to create a knot and trim ends of ribbon if needed. cool right?  thanks to my friend paula cheney for that great bow trick!

DSC00313 3.38.05 PM*the details: i really like the colors in this background, the coordinating ribbon, and of course the dimensional stamped butterflies…

DSC00322well i hope you like this technique, but more importantly i hope you take time to play with this technique.   try different stencils, different colors of inks, and even different surfaces to create these colorful watercolor backgrounds.  i wanted to share a few of my other favorite layering stencils for this technique…

stencils1 stencils2

congrats to the winners from the may 12 tags of 2014.  if you see your name (and it links to your tag), please email mario@timholtz.com to claim your prize…
1. S@ndy Diller
2. Danielle Mack
3. Lisa F
4. dj@CardsPaperAndScrapbooks
5. Karen Knight
6. Katy Leitch
7. Katie K
8. Nikki Acton
9. Lottie Luvs Lilac
10. chris
11. Cheiron
12. Donna Buchner

*be sure to check your local stores for these supplies or you can
click the links below to purchase online…
(SSS=simon says stamp / IE=inspiration emporium)

GREAT NEWS! both of these online stores are offering a discount of 10% off your purchase – use the following codes with your order:
(SSS code: 10JUNETH / IE code: timtime)


Crinkle Ribbon (SSS|IE)


click here (SSS|IE)


Distress Watercolor Cardstock (IE|SSS)


click here (SSS|IE)


click here (SSS|IE)


click here (SSS|IE)


Distress Mini Ink Pad Kit 3 (SSS|IE)


click here (SSS|IE)


click here (SSS|IE)


click here (IE|SSS)


Mini Ink Blending Tool (IE|SSS)


Mister Bottle (SSS|IE)


Heat Tool (IE|SSS)


click here (IE|SSS)


Metal Game Spinners (SSS|IE)


Mini Fasteners (IE|SSS)










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211 Comments to “12 tags of 2014 – june…”

  1. lis says:

    from the mind of a creative genius…wow, I am ever amazed at your creative ideas. I love this! And it opens a whole new set of possibilities for me!

  2. Sara P says:

    I am very excited to try this technique out. I love how bright the colors are. Just fun this month!

  3. Kat says:

    Tim you are super human… After spending the weekend with us at the Simon Says stamp event you pack up, fly across the country and create the June tag… Love you! Great technique and I love all the additional samples that you created for us to see! Hope you and Mario are both feeling better – get some sleep!

  4. BlueRose says:

    This watercolor effect is so gorgeous! I can’t wait to get some distress inks and play. Thanks for sharing this and just for being so inspirational:)

  5. Kristen says:

    Pretty, totally feels like summer.

  6. SusanK says:

    I’ve been playing with this technique a bit and LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!! I even did it on an envelope to coordinate with the card. Lots of fun and always an unexpected result!

  7. Tara Rahemat says:

    beautiful technique! Definitely one to try! 🙂

  8. I love this tag and will play with this technique as soon as I get back to the scraproom! Thanks for another beautiful tag!

  9. Katy D says:

    This is very cool! I love all of the bright colors and can’t wait to play around! 🙂

  10. Laura Peitz says:

    I can actually do this one! I have almost all the correct materials already! Love the watercolor background!

  11. Rebekah in KY says:


  12. Maureen says:

    Wonderful Tim! So pretty… Love the watercolour effect. I have a few of your stencils (okay, maybe a bit more than a few 😉 ) so I can’t wait to try this out for myself!

  13. KathyJH says:

    Oh wow – I love this tag! The watercolor effect is fabulous. And kudos to Paula Chaney – that bow I amazing! Definitely going to try my hand with this tag.

  14. Cathy Osborne says:

    Another winner. I love the stars done in the beautiful rainbow colors. The layered/raise butterflies make the tag fly. Beautiful, beautiful.

  15. This is just gorgeous, Tim! I love those beautiful splashes of color, and the layering stencils are AWESOME!!!

  16. Caroline says:

    Wow, one of my favourite tags, so pretty!!! 🙂

  17. Karen M. says:

    This tag screams SUMMER. Love the watercolor effect – I’m running, not walking to my studio to give this one a try!

  18. marileew says:

    Wow, these backgrounds are beautiful. I can hardly wait to get into the craft room to try these out. And messy too, just for fun! Love it. Thanks Tim for the inspiration!

  19. I was just thinking the other day that these butterflies are timeless and will be faves for a long time! Gorgeous tag, thanks for the inspiration!

  20. donna russell says:

    I love this tag, I love the watercolor effect with matching ribbon. thanks for sharing

  21. Bernice Piotrowski says:

    Beautiful tag, as usual. Thanks for posting samples with various stencils.

  22. Brandy says:

    Oooh very pretty! I love the bright colors and what a cool technique. Can’t wait to give it a try.

  23. s mellows says:

    I love this stencil and distress ink process. I like the bow too. When I make mine, I think I will use my mini stapler to staple the middle then tie the smaller outside bow around the staple since my hands can get a bit clumsy. Wow Tim, always new ideas!

  24. Dawnll says:

    I want one of everything you used on this fabulous tag. Can I come and play at your house? I like to bake so I would feed you and Mario well. Thanks so much for the inspiration.

  25. Theresa B. says:

    I love the technique and the butterflies. It’s bright and summery and I just have to see how it inspires me to make a tag. Thanks again Tim!

  26. Patty Pearson says:

    Wonderful tag!!! Really colorful. Thanks for the great bow idea, bows are always hard for me.

  27. Your tag is just gorgeous, as always! This technique is fun and I really do like the unpredictable “artsy” look to it for backgrounds. All your various backgrounds you made for the post are great!

    Congrats to all the May winners too. 🙂

  28. Nurse Ratchet says:

    Love this technique!! Tx..as always!

  29. Julie Heyer says:

    What a great and colorful tag! Love this technique, one of my favorites to use with my stencils!!

  30. Just beautiful! Can’t wait to try this technique!

  31. I love this technique!! I had a chance to play during the OCC watercolor class and this was my favorite! Love this tag….great as always, Tim!!!

  32. CONGRATULATIONS to the winners! Well deserved. What a great technique! Can’t wait to try this one. Karen.x

  33. Samantha Reed says:

    Looking forward to take on the challege….ready Tim!

  34. deborahdoh says:

    Absolutely awesome!

  35. Sue McRae says:

    Love the mix of happy colors on this tag, perfect for this time of year when everything starts blooming (blooming in my world anyway). I must try that stencil technique, it’s so cool.

  36. Irines Acosta says:

    Wow!! This tag is awesome. I can’t wait to try it! I fell in love with my stencils all over again!

  37. Libby from Pleasanton says:

    I love this technique with the watercolor paper! Wonderful tag.

  38. Okay this tag is AMAZING and probably my favorite in months! Headed into my craft room right now to try this technique!

  39. I swore I didn’t need the minis- and something came over me and I just ordered 3 sets! Looking forward to trying this technique. Thanks.

  40. Sue says:

    Woo HOo HaPpy JuNe! I love the BriGhT chEEriness of this Tag! I shall give it a try! : )

  41. Tona says:

    This tag looks like a lot of fun. I can’t wait to play around with that technique.

  42. Diana says:

    beautiful tag!!! i love it! can’t wait to find some me time and play!!!!
    congrats to all the winners!!!

  43. Heather says:

    I love the use of stencils and the watercolour effect. Beautiful job!!! Great inspiration as always. Thank you!

  44. Deb L says:

    Amazing colors Tim! Love the butterflies!

  45. I freaking LOVE this technique and this tag. My mind is already spinning with all kinds of designs and ideas, when the stencils arrived in South Africa – I bought one of each design that they had in the store. So into water-coloury effects right now as well. It is totally ridiculous how your creativity and artistic vision is just simply bottomless. I am gobsmacked each month with what you come up with. Cant wait to start playing around with ideas for this month’s challenge!

  46. Maura says:

    Love this tag! I have been having so much fun lately using your different products to watercolor with, so this is perfect. Lovely and soft for summer. Thanks Tim!
    Congratulations to all the tag winners!

  47. Dolly says:

    Another beautiful tag Tim!! and in quick order considering you just got back home!!
    TFS!! 😀

  48. rhonda nickol says:

    Very beautiful tag T!m, love learning some new techniques I have never tried before!

  49. Nita says:

    Love it. The bright colors are just beautiful.

  50. chelle says:

    fabulous!!!! I LOVE this tag…wonderful watercolor with the stencil and perfect colors to head into summer! thank you for the inspiration!!!

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